Specialized Fuse Comp first ride review

A bike that’s actually greater than the sum of its parts?

GBP £1,400.00 RRP | USD $1,550.00
The Specialized Fuse Comp
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It’s easy to dismiss 650b+ wheeled bikes as something dreamed up in the marketing rather than the R&D department. Sling a leg over a plus-wheeled hardtail, however, and even the most ardent cynic will soon succumb to their chubby charms and flubbery fun levels. But plus-bikes like the Specialized Fuse Comp are more than just boisterous playthings — despite their portly appearance, the best of them are capable of going seriously damn fast.

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Specialized Fuse Comp spec overview

  • Fork: 120mm SR Suntour Raidon
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM X7 Type 2.1, 10-speed
  • Cassette: Sunrace, 10-speed, 11-40t
  • Brakes: TRP T4 brakes
  • Rims: WTB Scraper i45 650b
  • Front tyre: OE Purgatory Contro
  • Rear tyre: Specialized 6Fattie Ground Control
  • Handlebars: Specialized Stout
  • Saddle: Body geometry Henge Comp

Specialized Fuse Comp frame and equipment

The Fuse Comp is based around a well-constructed aluminium frame with a short-ish reach of 440mm (size large) and 67-degree head angle, and short 430mm chainstays help keep the ride poppy and lively.

A 120mm Suntour Raidon fork, WTB Scraper i45 rims, TRP T4 brakes, SRAM X7 1×10 gearing, 120mm TransX dropper and Specialized’s own brand finishing kit completes the package. Total bike weight is a reasonable 13.4kg.

Specialized Fuse Comp ride impression

On paper, the Raidon fork is a spec disappointment for a bike of this price — even if this is the air sprung rather than the more basic coil version. On the trail though, the fork does its job pretty well and any lack of subtlety is helpfully masked by the high volume Specialized 6Fattie Ground Control 3in tyres.

This fast rolling rubber works well in dry and damp conditions, though the rear is prone to sliding out on corners, even under gentle braking. Our 69kg tester ran fairly low pressures to make the most of the grip that’s available — unfortunately this strayed into pinch-puncture territory and a blow-out saw him eating a hefty slice of trail pie. We’d definitely ditch the inner tubes as a result, and helpfully the rims come taped and tubeless-ready.

On pretty much any trail you like, the Fuse Comp is a bike that’s eager to charge as hard as you’re able and outperforms what is only average spec for the money. Its speed-hungry and capable nature will leave doubters flailing in its wake and is a fine example of why plus-sized hardtails can work so well.

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Specialized Fuse Comp early verdict

Ignore the spec, this is a capable plus-hardtail ideal for letting loose on fast flowing trails.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Fuse Comp
Brand Specialized

Available Sizes S M L XL XXL
Rims WTB Scraper i45 650b, double-wall
Wheelbase (in) 1165
Top Tube (in) 633
Standover Height (in) 801
Seat Tube (in) 470
Chainstays (in) 430
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 305.5
Spoke Type Stainless, 14g, black
Brake Levers TRP
Stem Specialized, 3D forged alloy
Shifters SRAM X5, 2x10, trigger
Seatpost TranzX YSP03 dropper
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Body Geometry Henge Comp
Rear Tyre Specialized 6Fattie Ground Control, 60TPI, 2Bliss Ready, folding bead, 650bx3.0"
Bottom Bracket Samox, PF30, sealed cartridge
Rear Hub Specialized Stout XC Pro 148
Rear Derailleur SRAM X7 Type 2.1
Head Angle 67
Handlebar Specialized Stout, flat bar, double-butted 6061 alloy
Grips/Tape Specialized Sip Grip
Front Tyre Specialized 6Fattie Ground Control, 60TPI, 2Bliss Ready, folding bead, 650bx3.0"
Front Hub Specialized Stout XC Pro 110
Frame Material Specialized M4 Premium Aluminium
Fork SR Suntour Raidon 650+
Cranks Specialized Stout XC, forged alloy
Chain KMC X10L
Cassette Custom Sunrace, wide range, 10-speed, 11-40t
Brakes TRP Slate T4 (F) / TRP Slate X2 (R)
Frame size tested L